|Stephen Paul Carter, son of Rev. Paul W. Carter and Margurite Reeves Carter, was born December 11, 1952 in Dallas, Texas. On April 29, 1995, Rev. Stephen Paul Carter’s earthly ministry was completed by accidental death in the parsonage at Start, Louisiana, where he, his wife and helpmate Julie Cochran Carter, resided.
Stephen is survived by his wife, Julie. Two daughters Ellen and Jessica, his parents Paul and Margurite Carter, brother, Mark A. Carter, sister, Diana Carter Ladmirault, granddaughter, Tabitha Brister, grandmothers Fredna Reeves Akin and Evelyn Carter Compton.
After graduation from Jackson High School in Jackson, Louisiana, Stephen enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served four years including a tour of duty in Thailand. Upon his discharge, Stephen enrolled in La. Tech. He served as a student pastor and preached his first sermon under the direction of Rev. Lael Jones. Stephen graduated from Tech in 1979 and continued his education at Perkins and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary graduating from there in May of 1984.
Stephen served for 20 years in the Louisiana Conference that included 23 churches. He was ordained deacon in 1981, elder in 1993 and was received into full connection into the Louisiana Conference. His appointments were Whitehall-Colquitt, Gibsland-Oak Grove, Harmony Chapel-Lisbon-Arizona, Marion-Bird’s Chapel, Houma Heights-Pecan Grove-Dulac, ZwolleConverse-Noble, St. Joseph-Waterproof-Wesley, Oak Grove-Forest, and last appointment Crew Lake-Little Creek-Union Charge.
On May 2, 1995, at the Rayville U.M.C., a crowded congregation of Stephen’s church members, family, friends and fellow clergy celebrated his life. The service was a celebration of the faith, hope, and love which Stephen reflected in his life and ministry. The first hymn, sung by the choir, was “He Lives.” In that great refrain was the affirmation of Stephen’s belief and ministry, “He lives, he lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.” Stephen had been anointed to proclaim the “Good News” of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he did so with excitement and joy.
One of the great attributes of Stephen’s ministry was that he was always there when his people were celebrating and he was there when his people were hurting. He was there with his prayers, support and broad smile. Stephen took to heart the words of Jesus “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” In that attitude, we saw his kindness, his determination, his wanting to do good to those around him. Stephen was not judgmental, but like the Master, he condemned the sin but not the sinner. His affirmation of God’s love strengthened, inspired and gave hope to so many people.
The Louisiana Conference lost a faithful minister and the Crew Lake-Little Creek-Union Charge lost a caring and loving pastor. We lost a true friend. The Crew Lake congregation stated “Stephen was very special to us. We shall miss him, as others will, but his spirit will remain with us.”
Peter Marshall wrote: “Those we love are with the Lord, and the Lord has promised to be with us. If they are with Him and He is with us, they cannot be far away.” In these words we find our hope and comfort. We give to God that Stephen’s love will continue to live in all of us who were touched by his life and faithful ministry.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1995; p. 250 By Frank M. Jones|